Heather Evans Smith (born Kinston, NC; lives Chapel Hill, NC) is a photo-based artist whose work reflects her southern roots, motherhood, womanhood and a whimsical imagination she relied on as an only child in a rural town. Her photographic imagery explores the ideas of memory, loss and family. She holds a BA from Peace College, Raleigh, NC. Her work has been featured in solo exhibitions at the Vermont Center for Photography, Brattleboro, VT and Center for Fine Art Photography, Fort Collins, CO. She has been included in group exhibitions at the Nasher Museum of Art, Durham, NC, as well as the Fox Talbot Museum, Lacock, United Kingdom and Leica Galerie Milano, Milan, Italy. She is a Critical Mass 2014, 2018 and 2021 Top 50 recipient. Her first monograph Seen Not Heard was published by Flash Powder Projects in 2016 and was followed by her self-published monograph Alterations in 2020. Her work resides in the permanent collections of Blue: The Tatter Textile Library, Brooklyn, NY, Colorado Photographic Arts Center, Denver and Cassilhaus, NC.
Statement from the Artist:
Some say my dad’s death was the spark that ignited my depression, but this feeling has been brewing in me for a while. A few years into my 40s, I started to notice a sadness creep in. I searched “depression in women” and stumbled across articles stating women are the most depressed at age 44. I was at that very moment 44. Loss during this time in a woman’s life can weigh heavily. Children are getting older and need the comfort of a parent less; the health of one’s own parent(s) is starting to fail; hormonal shifts begin. Using the color blue, which for hundreds of years has been associated with melancholy and sadness, these images evoke this period in my life and how it affects those around me. They are a mid-point – as I am stripping down, taking stock, and finding a new place amongst the loss.